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Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul An Account of the Old and New Buildings with a Short Historical Sketch   By:

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In Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, Arthur Dimock takes readers on a captivating journey through the magnificent history and architecture of one of England's most iconic cathedrals. With meticulous attention to detail, Dimock weaves together a comprehensive account of both the old and new buildings of Saint Paul's, offering readers a profound understanding of its rich heritage.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Dimock's writing is his unwavering dedication to historical accuracy. Through extensive research and thorough exploration, he delves into the origins of the cathedral, tracing its roots back to its humble beginnings as a small parish church. Dimock unveils the various renovations and additions made over the centuries, guiding readers through the evolution of Saint Paul's from a modest structure to the grand masterpiece we know today.

What truly sets this book apart is Dimock's ability to make architectural descriptions come alive. With vivid prose, he vividly depicts the soaring arches, intricately designed stained-glass windows, and meticulously carved stone details that characterize the cathedral. Through his words, readers can almost hear the echoes of history reverberating within the hallowed halls, feeling as though they are truly wandering through the majestic building itself.

Furthermore, Dimock skillfully intertwines architectural analysis with historical anecdotes, creating a seamless narrative that captures both the physical and cultural significance of Saint Paul's. His engaging storytelling allows readers to step into the shoes of those who have encountered this magnificent structure throughout the ages, witnessing coronations, funerals, and other momentous events that have left an indelible mark on the cathedral's legacy.

While Dimock's expertise in architecture might initially seem daunting to casual readers, his accessible writing style renders complex concepts digestible and engaging. He strikes a perfect balance between academic rigor and readability, making this book accessible to both seasoned architects and curious enthusiasts alike.

If there is one minor flaw in Dimock's work, it is perhaps the overwhelming plethora of details, which might occasionally bog down the pacing. However, for readers who are truly invested in the subject matter, this meticulousness serves as a testament to Dimock's dedication to presenting a comprehensive account of Saint Paul's Cathedral, leaving no stone unturned.

In conclusion, Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul is an extraordinary tribute to one of England's architectural gems. Arthur Dimock's passion for the subject shines through every page, immersing readers in the grandeur and history of Saint Paul's. Whether you are an architecture aficionado, a history buff, or simply a curious traveler, this book is an invaluable resource and an invitation to explore the depths of this majestic cathedral.

First Page:


An Account of the Old and New Buildings with a Short Historical Sketch



Rector of Wetherden, Suffolk

[Illustration: Photochrom Co. Ltd. Photo. ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL, FROM THE SOUTH BANK OF THE THAMES.]

[Illustration: (Arms of the See)]

With XXXIX Illustrations

London George Bell & Sons 1900


The MSS. relating to St. Paul's are deficient in regard to the earlier periods, but become gradually more complete as time progresses. They have been published or quoted, probably, more extensively than those belonging to any other religious foundation in this country, unless it be such communities as St. Alban's, which have attracted the continued attention of the editors working under the Master of the Rolls. In consequence, although our knowledge, not only of the Romano British period but of many succeeding centuries, is defective or altogether wanting, yet as time advances after the Norman Conquest the merely printed material at our disposal becomes gradually almost embarrassing. When we come to the present Cathedral, we know not only exactly when it was built, but to a great extent how and why .

In the Parentalia Wren's grandson, Stephen, partly in his own words, partly in those of his famous grandfather, lifting the curtain, discloses the personal history and inner self of the architect at his work... Continue reading book >>

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